2012 Wayfarer Pinot Noir
Golden Mean

Tasting Notes

This wine possesses an intense dark ruby color. The complex nose reveals violets, blackberries and strawberries with fresh Herbes de Provence and a hint of anise, followed by an intriguing cigar box and forest floor character. The wine exudes a unique freshness reminiscent of the Sonoma Coast air infused with the fragrance of pine trees. The Pommard clone’s depth and power is undeniable while the Swan clone’s finesse slowly advances to the forefront, unveiling seductive floral and spicy notes. Tannins are supple and dense with a texture that expands in the mid-palate, lingering for many seconds with aromas of violets and red berries. The synergy between these two clones is extraordinarily captivating and symphonious.

Winemaking Notes

We hand-picked and hand-sorted the fruit, reserving 10% for whole-cluster fermentation prior to de-stemming. The remaining berries were de-stemmed and hand-sorted again before transfer to tank. Five to seven days of cold maceration preceded more than two weeks of 100% native yeast fermentation. The fruit was then gently pressed, its free-run juice transferred to 80% new French oak barrels for 15 months of aging.

Vintage Notes

The 2012 growing year began with average rainfall and steady, moderate temperatures. A mild spring led to a warm, dry summer, providing ideal conditions for vine growth. Our vineyard crew worked diligently to control vigor and manage the leaf canopy to ensure well-formed, consistent clusters by early summer. Veraison occurred in early August. Mid-to late-summer temperatures never spiked, allowing the fruit to ripen slowly and steadily – the hallmark of a great vintage. Vines yielded generous fruit that required repeated thinning to obtain the desired concentration and vine balance. We began harvesting the Swan clone in Block 20 on September 22 and finished harvesting Pommard Blocks 5 and 26a by October 3. Fruit achieved both ideal aromatic maturity and optimal physiological development.

Blocks Map

5, 20, 26a


Pommard 4, Pommard 5, Swan


96 Points

Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, February 2015

Crafted from estate-grown fruit—a marriage of Pommard and Swan clones—Golden Mean comes from three distinct vineyard blocks, the Pommard fermented whole-cluster. It
opens with dark, ripe layers of lush cherry-vanilla, the wine concentrated and rich in oak yet balanced in acidity. On the finish is a mix of leather, licorice and wild herb. Tuck it away through 2020–2022.

95 Points

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, December 2014

Made from the Pommard and Joseph Swan clones of Pinot Noir, the 2012 Pinot Noir Golden Mean is a meaty, masculine effort displaying the densest color (dark plum/purple) of this quintet along with super-­rich black fruit, forest floor and damp earth notes, terrific intensity, a full-­bodied mouthfeel, and 10-­15 years of upside.

93+ Points

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, February 2014

A more masculine, virile expression of Sonoma Coast Pinot emerges from the 2012 Pinot Noir Golden Mean. Dark cherries, new leather and savory herbs blossom in a big, broad-shouldered wine endowed with tremendous power. There is plenty of upside here.

95 Points

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate, October 31, 2017

The Golden Mean is made exclusively from Pommard and Swan clones. Medium ruby colored, the 2012 Pinot Noir Golden Mean has a savory nose of charcuterie and Marmite toast with a core of dried cranberries, potpourri, spice box and menthol. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a beautiful earthy/savory character with lovely, fine-grained tannins and a good long finish.

Wine Data

Bibiana González Rave
Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast
Double Guyot
Vine Yield:
Less than 3 pounds
September 23 – October 2, 2012
December 20, 2013
Fall 2014
100% Pinot Noir
6.1 g/l
Cases Produced:
250 cases

Download Fact Sheet (1 MB)